Here are my top ten albums of 2019, as a playlist for those who have the time to listen. You can see my picks for albums #11 through 20 in the post below. Each tune is one I've never posted or included in a playlist. Since these are the best albums of the year, they're deep enough that I don't need to re-post in order to make a great playlist:
#10: "Haze County" by Crypt Trip Is is possible for a throwback rock band
to sound more authentic than the actual
era they based their sound on? Nobody does retro '70's rock better than Crypt Trip. Top ten two years in a row
#9: "Ancients" by Black Lung
Flawless rock album, top to bottom.
Fresh songwriting, expert production, great energy. Can't say enough about this one
#8: "Reign Of The Orion" by Spaceslug
Top ten three years in a row, Spaceslug is not only prolific, but manage to evolve with each album while maintaining their disctinctive sound. One of the greatest heavy bands of this decade.
#7: "Head Pains" by Rainbows Are Free I love this band. Inspired songwriting, great musicianship and elite vocals. I'm still finding new things to appreciate in this album.
#6: "Opera Villains" by Glitter Wizard
This album is a masterpiece of hard
rock, with as much thought put into it
as a classic opera. Not many bands
have produced an album this great. A timeless work of art.
#5: "Death And Consolation" by The Well
Distinctive songwriting, expert musicianship, and Ian and Lisa's unique, haunting complementary vocals. Another must-own release by one of the bands that put Austin Texas on the stoner rock map.
#4: "Strange Vibration" by Skunk
Here's another band that almost sounds more like 1970's rock than the actual vintage bands themselves. Brilliant writing too. Skunk sat at number 1 on my best albums list in 2017, and this
album is just as good. I'll be playing this album years from now.
#3: "Doomus Abruptus, Vol. 1" by Scissorfight
Portsmouth, New Hampshire's stoner rock legends have risen from the ashes to bring us another raunchy, gritty and dirty stoner rock classic. This album is entertaining from beginning to end, and maintains the unrelenting energy Scissorfight is known for.
#2: "The Brink" by Solace
Another seething, relentless classic from one of my favorite stoner rock bands of all time. Worried about the loss of vocalist Jason? Fear not. Solace has knocked this one clear out of the park. There isn't a Solace album that I don't still listen to, and now I have another.
#1: "Fear Inoculum" by Tool
When the greatest rock band of all time
releases a new album, it naturally must sit on top of any top ten list. While it can be easily argued that Tool isn't really a stoner rock band, it's inarguable that Tool appeals to heavy metal, stoner, prog and classic rock fans alike. Tool's music is genius, and in a year when this band finally agreed to release their music digitally, they have also set a new standard for physical copies, with a video and music player included with the CD.
Stay safe tonight and make sure that rock music is played loud as you welcome in the new decade -ULTRA
Each tune is one I've never posted or included in a playlist. Since these are the best albums of the year, they're deep enough that I don't need to re-post in order to make a convincing playlist:
#20: "The Riven" by The Riven This Swedish band can hang with the best.
They produced some of the best music in
2017 and 2019.
#19: "Desert Sessions Vols. 11 & 12" by Desert Sessions
Josh Homme doesn't produce music that's
not worthy of a "best of" list
#18: "Great Hallucinations" by Nightstalker
Much like AC/DC, Nightstalker Sticks with their formula and manages to stay fresh
#17: "Wizzerd" by Wizzerd Sincere, imaginative and heavy. Top 20 is a no-brainer.
#16: "Bad Taste" by Mournful Cries
Distinctive and special, Mournful
Cries provide excellent songwriting,
haunting vocals and a great old-school
#15: "Awakened From The Tomb" by Witchers Creed
Stellar debut album by yet another great Swedish throwback hard rock band
#14: "John Garcia And The Band Of Gold" by John Garcia and the Band of Gold
The first new album I bought in 2019, and I found myself still listening to it in December. This is John Garcia's best work since Kyuss, and that's saying a lot. Every tune is worthy.
#13: "Are You Nervous?" by Swedish Death Candy
I found this from following Cities On Flame on Bandcamp and could not have been more pleasantly surprised. Mixing elements from hard rock, progressive, stoner, punk and pop rock, this album is fascinating and Swedish Death Candy (from England) are brilliant songwriters andmusicians
#12: "Modern Panic" by Deaf Radio
Top-shelf rock from Athens that will appeal to a wide variety of tastes, seamlessly blending multiple genres. It's clear that Deaf Radio are Queens Of The Stone Age fans, but no one can accuse them of being QOTSA clones. Every tune is great here.
#11: "Everybody's Going To Die"
by Church Of The Cosmic Skull
Three must-own albums in four years. Five
singers, each who on their own would make a good band great. Songwriting that comes from so many places it's created something new. Cello and viola in an album that redefines what it means for music to be heavy.Your collection needs this album.
Here lies one tune from each year, 2010 - 2019, where each tune is arguably the best of the year.
Play it as loud as ten years of pent up energy and aggression deserves, and please share:
I expect to be adding another best of the decade playlist to this post, composed by a local musician and lover of heavy music. Check back right here, as I will add this second Best Of playlist as soon as I receive it.
Many thanks to Fuzzy Cracklins, promoter of great underground heavy music, for publishing my list on his website.
I've been following Fuzzy on Bandcamp for a while now, getting exposed to lots of great music by seeing what he's been buying.
Finishes with my pick for #1 Rock tune of 2019, but otherwise the order is simply determined by nice transitions. These are the tunes I've been playing the most often this year, in no particular order:
Top 20 Albums of 2019 and Top 10 Tunes of the Decade coming this week
It happens every year; a ton of great music comes out at the very end of the year that upsets my top 10 lists, without fail. What's happened in the last 16 days however, is unprecedented. Check out the rock and roll genius of these albums by four stoner rock major-leaguers:
SPACESLUG: REIGN OF THE ORION
Spaceslug has produced five albums in four years now. This volume of production might signal a product that is either of lesser quality, or is simply more of the same each time. Neither of these is true with Spaceslug. Not only is each album truly great, but they keep evolving, with each new release offering something the previous album did not.
Here is one of five great tunes. This is "Spacerunner":
Spaceslug is (l-r):
Jan Rutka - Bass/Vocals
Kamil Ziółkowski - Drums/Vocals
Bartosz Janik - Guitars/Vocals
RAINBOWS ARE FREE: HEAD PAINS
I've been waiting for this one for what feels like forever. Brandon Kistler's voice would gain attention even with sub-par musicians, but the rest of the band is elite as well, making Rainbows Are Free a truly special band. "Shapeshifter" might be my favorite track, but I already posted it so here's another great one called "Covered In Dawn":
Rainbows Are Free are from Oklahoma. They are:
Brandon Kistler - Vocals Richie Tarver - Lead Guitar/Synth/Backup Vocals Joey Powell - Guitars Jason Smith - Bass/Piano Bobby Onspaugh - Drums/Auxiliary Percussion
CHURCH OF THE COSMIC SKULL:
EVERYBODY'S GOING TO DIE
Much like Spaceslug, Chuch Of The Cosmic Skull just keeps evolving, and have produced groundbreaking albums two years in a row. This band is stacked with talent, and have truly done things that no one has done before. Five great musicians and six great singers with inspired songwriting have produced an album that's important musically on a scale with the likes of Led Zeppelin and Pink Floyd.
Church Of The Cosmic Skull are:
Bill Fisher - Guitar & Vocals;
Michael Wetherburn - Hammond Organ & Vocals Amy Nicholson - Electric Cello & Vocals Loz Stone - Drums Sam Lloyd - Bass & Vocals Jo Joyce - Vocals;
Caroline Cawley - Vocals
SCISSORFIGHT: DOOMUS ABRUPTUS Vol.1
Didn't think I'd ever get to hear a new album from Scissorfight, so what a great surprise this was. There are a new singer and drum player, but you won't feel like there's been a change at all because "Doomus Apruptus Vol.1" picks up right where "Victory Over Horseshit" left off. This is blue-collar, heavy, bad-ass rock and roll, and would make the perfect soundtrack to any barfight. Doomus Abruptus is everything you'd expect from a new Scissorfight album. Here is one of my favorites, "Where Eagles Drink":